Frist has dug himself into a hole now, and doesn't seem to know how to get out. Senator Frist, who hopes to one day be President Frist, is in a situation where, if he implements the 'nuclear option' and foregoes 200 years of tradition, his GOP agenda is shut down. But, if he backs down and compromises with the Democrats, he is seen as weak and abandoning his evangelical supporters. He is in a lose-lose situation which is telling of his leadership abilities. If I was a Republican, I would be very disappointed in his stewardship of the Senate GOP. Greed will get you in a bind ever time.
Frist Says He's Not Interested in Deals
By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Reacting to a Democratic offer in the fight over filibusters, Republican leader Bill Frist said Tuesday he isn't interested in any deal that fails to ensure Senate confirmation for all of President Bush's judicial nominees.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid had been quietly talking with Frist about confirming at least two of Bush's blocked nominees from Michigan in exchange for withdrawing a third nominee. This would have been part of a compromise that would have the GOP back away from a showdown over changing Senate rules to prevent Democrats from using the filibuster to block Bush's nominees.
But Frist, in a rare news conference conducted on the Senate floor, said he would not accept any deal that keeps his Republican majority from confirming judicial nominees that have been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"Are we going to step back from that principle? The answer to that is no," Frist said.
That means he and Reid are still at deadlock, because Democrats have said they would not accept any deals that would permanently ban them from blocking Bush's nominees to the Supreme Court or the federal appellate courts, the top two tiers of the judicial system.
"As part of any resolution, the nuclear option must be off the table," said Reid, referring to the GOP threat to change the filibuster rules.